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Parliament adjourned to reconvene Monday morning

Radio & TV Tonga, Nuku’alofa, 28/02/2019

Parliament was adjourned this morning after the Minister of Police Hon Mateni Tapueluelu motioned the speaker that they all needed a break and time to rethink and study the bills lined up for deliberation.

This was after a lively debate on the interpretation of the bill, because the Prime Minister Hon Pohiva maintained it is the same with the 2014 bill which was approved by parliament.

Tongatapu 3 Representative Siaosi Sovaleni argued that if it was the same, then why change no 1 in the former bill to 1a. He said, although these are technical differences but the bills are not the same.

The Speaker, Lord Fakafanua clarified that the change is not in the content of the bill but the difference is in the explanatory notes attached to the bills.

The Prime Minister in a frustrated comment said members are trying to stall and create confusion and chaos to which Lord Nuku denied and said that they were doing their best to perform their duties to the house well.

‘Eua 11 People’s Representative Tevita Lavemaau questioned the use of emergency in the Prime Minister’s letter whether the bill had the same urgency nature with the one already approved because of a budget support case.

Arguments continued when the Prime Minister agreed to re submit another emergency letter to the house, and some members proposed that it should be referred to law sub committe or even allow for public consultation.

Parliament will resume Monday morning.

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